How politicians connect with you

It seems that since the candidates debate, the election rhetoric has died down a bit (except on social media). That said, the campaigns still continue to blaze despite all the distractions of the hockey playoff, the royal wedding, and easter weekend. I was watching the different leaders and seeing how they are trying to connect and with whom. Here is what I see.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper: He connects by talking about the successful things his party has done in a minority, mostly focusing on the strong economy. He plays on the fear of a ‘coallition’ gov’t, going negative on Ignatieff and more recently Layton. He plays on the negativity of minority gov’ts by asking for a majority since he is the only one close enough to get one. Generally speaking, Harper is trying to connect mostly with his base, and hoping to connect with a few liberals and quebecois.

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff:  He connects mostly by talking about what the Harper gov’t has done wrong. He focuses on the legality and illegality of issues brought up. He keeps his points very high-level and broad. He appeals to families with his family plan. He plays on the fear that a Harper majority gov’t would do more damage. He is trying to connect mostly with his base, while appealing to some Red Tories and some NDP/Bloc people.

NDP Leader Jack Layton: he connects mostly by talking about what he can do for people in terms of his social policy. He points out what both Harper and Ignatieff are doing wrong or won’t do for the people. He has focused on doing things right away and for families, workers, and the general public. He has recently put together a message that is more aspirational than negative, but he has done both. He is trying to connect with the broad Canadian public, but mostly on the left side of the political spectrum

Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe: He connects by mostly talking about the things that Harper has done wrong, specifically diffusing the coalition rhetoric. He also focuses on what Quebec needs. Normally attacking Harper and Ignatieff, he has recently added Layton to his attacks. He is trying to connect only with Quebec voters.

On top of this, speeches and ads have a certain tone to them. For each politician, the strategy differs, some are adjusting due to ineffectiveness, while others are staying the course to minimize risk. At the end of the day we as Canadians have to figure out what means the most to us in terms of connection. Do we connect with the personality, the facts and figures, using our personal experiences and issues? Again it differs amongst us. For a message to truly inspire the masses, it has to be simple, aspirational, and achieveable. Has anyone done that? Only you can be the judge.

Connection through Photos and Videos

Do you take pictures and videos to capture the entire minutiae of your life? I used to be the type of guy who didn’t understand why people would spend hours and hours of time videotaping and taking pictures of everything. One time I saw a family at a Harvey’s and the dad was videotaping his kids eating. I also abhorred the idea of the wedding video guy watching me and my wife eat at my own nuptials. I mean do I really want to reminisce about how I chowed down Chicken Biryani and Lamb masala in 5 minutes flat?

I did take many pictures of my son Nyal when he was born. Not obssessively, but a pretty good amount. Then Ryah came and my snapping frequency dwindled. I took for granted that my fantastic memory would be okay to remember the moments of connection. It was not enough.

But as I posted one little picture on Facebook, I realized that so many others are getting connection through my pictures, including my in-laws, family, and close friends. I also did the same through their photos.  So I went to town taking a ton of pictures this weekend and I posted the best of the best.

I have to admit, we had a blast posing and taking pictures. Even better to review all the pictures past and current. My wife and I reviewed them and just had a gush of feeling that overwhelmed us. Even now, I see my son and daughter and I get all emotional imagining the picture and then feeling enormous gratitude with all that I have.

Capturing the moments, both big and small is a wonderful way to connect with my immediate family and my external relationships. But it also connects me to myself because I get to see my life from a new angle. (pun intended).

Charlie Sheen’s connection through disconnect

Seems that Charlie Sheen is in town for his second show tonight and I thought it relevant to comment. He is an interesting paradox in that he has found a way to connect through his seemingly disconnect with his show, producers, and team. Sometimes we get lost and follow a path that is destructive. Usually the way to get off that path into a more positive path is to find people who have been through a similar journey and connect with them by sharing and communicating. That is the power of support groups. Not sure is Charlie Sheen will need one, nor do I know who would actually be in his support group. That said, his path cannot last and I hope he has people loyal to him who will be there when he needs it. Keep up the connections everyone, and please share any and all thoughts.
— Bobby